Red Foxes in Winter Special Birthday Card

Back in the summer, I was asked to make a special birthday card for a special friend’s son who has a fondness for foxes—all shades and types. She gave me free creative rein and said she didn’t care what I did with the idea, but that he might like a red one. I considered several different fox stamps and stickers but finally chose a particular stamp that shows foxes in a wintry scene since his birthday was in February (“300-16 Red Foxes and Birches,” Stamps Rosa).

I’ve never really thought much about foxes in my life, other than thinking they’re beautiful animals in general, so I had no idea how to shade one. Coloring is something I’m still not comfortable with, because I feel like the concept of shading is one I haven’t begun to learn. Luckily for me, the wooden stamp I was using had a colored picture on the front that I just had to attempt to recreate! 🙂

First I had to choose the right paper, though, which evidently was not the bumpy watercolor paper I tried to stamp on first (twice). I knew that, but I was thinking of using my water-filled Aqua Painter on it and felt the paper would handle it. I liked the textured look of the watercolor paper too, but the image was too detailed to stamp cleanly with the bumps in the paper. Then I remembered Stampin’ Up’s Shimmery White cardstock, a must-have in my collection. It’s not any thicker than the rest of their cardstock (other than the aptly named “Thick” cardstock in the line), but it’s smooth and somehow holds up great with watercoloring–and it’s sparkly to boot (hence the “Shimmery” part of the name). Bonus for me was that the paper helped my snow scene sparkle.

Once I had the paper figured out and the stamp stamped correctly, I took my watercolor pencils and tried to emulate what I saw on the wooden stamp block. I had to mix a few shades to get that red fox coat color with the darker spots. After using the watercolor pencils, I took my Aqua Painter to it as planned and went back and forth between the two tools a few times until it felt right (because I have no idea what I’m doing, really. I’m assuming I’ll get better as I learn by trial and error).

After I was satisfied with the colors and the paper had basically dried, I went over the snow and snow-covered branches with my Clear Wink of Stella brush marker to bring back the sparkle to the snow that I’d ended up coloring over with the white pencil. (The sparkle shows through the color a little, but I really wanted the snow to glimmer.) Then I set aside the piece to dry while I figured out the rest of the card.

My favorite crafty thing to use these days are metal cutting dies. They’re simple, quick to use, and make things prettier or more elegant than I could come up with on my own. (They’re also faster for me than my Cricut.) I hang most of them on my wall and the back of my door on large magnetic sheets or vent covers so that I can easily walk over and try different sizes and shapes with whatever I’m wanting to cut out, rather than taking time to flip through a box and take die sets out of envelopes.

For this card, I looked at a bunch of large shapes, trying to decide whether to cut it into a type of oval or a fancy square or a rectangle. I ended up using one of my new sets from Spellbinders that hadn’t yet made it to my wall (Art Nouveau Designer Series “Water Lilies Decorative Element”), because it fit the image perfectly without making me cut it down too much (after all that hard work in coloring, I hated to do that!).

I debated whether to use a SU Cajun Craze cardstock base or a white base and which color to set off where. I ended up cutting several different colors of cardstock with the frame die to test them and see what worked. The card finally fell together color-wise when I brought in the darker wood-grain paper (SU “Country Lane” DSP) as a background to echo the dark shading in the picture. The dark complements the darker orangish-brown Cajun Craze well enough while keeping the same tones. With the white base, there was too much contrast and the frame jumped out at me rather than letting me focus on the colored image. So I ended up using a Cajun Craze base but covering the entire front with the wood grain and using a Cajun Craze frame on top and beneath the white colored image. (It’s a solid piece that gives a mat to whatever is inserted into the sides.)

This particular frame die acts like a gift card holder where the center flowers are, gently opening up and holding whatever is placed in the solid middle. That took some thinking, trying to measure and cut down the colored image so that it fit into that space under the flowers just right. The opening/middle rectangle is much larger than a gift card, but it’s the same idea…though this is only one way to use it.

The one thing I forgot to do to the test pieces was to make sure they were embossed well also. (One reason I love Spellbinders is because they have awesome sections of the dies that are intended to be embossed to give it a little something extra. I miss that feature when I use other brands.) So the embossing could have been done a little better in parts here, because I forgot to take that step to make it pop. I didn’t remember it until I’d mailed the card and noticed it in the pictures. In the photos above, perhaps you can see that the center flower pieces are more deeply etched than the corners above and below them. Next time…I shall remember next time. 🙂

My customer wasn’t picky about what to say on the inside either, other than asking me to write his name and theirs in it and mail it straight to him. So I had to dream up something based on other things she had said to me. After adding fox washi tape to the bottom of a white piece and then matting the paper onto a different kind of wood-grain patterned paper from a 6×6 pad (can’t remember which one now), I used three different stamp sets and another die to make the sentiment section. “A little expression of love” is from SU’s “Painter’s Palette,” “just for you” is from SU’s “From the Herd,” and “Happy birthday” is from MFT’s “LJD For the Boys” (part of the “Happy Birthday, Handsome” stamp). The die is among those in a retired nested set from SU called “Deco Labels.”

I used my stamping platform and its grid to line up the sentiments on the die-cut and stamp out a couple of test pieces in Cajun Craze ink to make sure they sat where I wanted them. (I had tried stamping right on the matted liner paper but I accidentally got ink where I shouldn’t have, so at that point I just had to cover it up because it was already adhered.)

After the sentiment box was stamped, I edged around the die-cut with my Cajun Craze Stampin’ Write Marker so it would stand out against the white paper. And, once again too late, I saw that the double fox spot on the washi piece. I didn’t create that intentionally; it’s just how it came off the roll. I wish I had seen it sooner; it bothers the part of me that prefers symmetry. 🙂 I also added two gold glitter hearts from MME (“Niche/On Trend Foam Stickers”) in the white space of the sentiment box.

I like how this one turned out even though it tested me at times and there are a couple of things I wish I could do differently. It’s always easier to make a similar card a second time. Maybe I’ll try to do one for the local gift shop. After all, I’m not completely convinced that winter is over with where I live.

Some of the Stampin’ Up items I used on this card are retired, but you can purchase the ink, cardstocks, and other current items through my online store if you want to try them (please use code 6WPHJ2MC at checkout unless your order is over $150). The thumbnails below will take you right there…and this is an awesome time to get them since Sale-a-bration is still going through the end of March. For every $50+ order before tax and shipping, you get to pick an item out of a select group of almost two dozen items and Stampin’ Up will send it to you for free with your order! Plus you’ll also get a free gift from me. 🙂 Please contact me if you have questions.

Thanks for visiting my blog! I truly appreciate my readers. ❤️ Have a lovely day! #neverstopmaking #mftstamps

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Cards from the Designer Tin of Cards Project Kit

Some cards from the Designer Tin of Cards Project Kit – quick and easy cards with a bit of variation.

Hello again. 🙂 I’ve had interest in a blog post about one of my birthday cards, so I thought I’d do up a quick blog post about it and a couple of others I made from the same kit.

The kit in question is the now-retired Designer Tin of Cards Project Kit from Stampin’ Up. When I was on vacation this past summer, I took an evening and mainly made up the cards the way the kit suggested, with little variations to the cards here and there. I didn’t add the sentiments at the time because I wasn’t sure what I would need them for and I didn’t have all my options in front of me anyway. So little by little I’ve been picking out of the batch and finishing them to send as needed, with some still waiting.

All my blue-and-white-and-gold ones have gone to the local gift shop for sale, and they had different sentiments. I used one of the masculine looks for my dad’s birthday. I used the banners/garlands base for another relative’s birthday and added some llama and cactus paper elements from a UK magazine I had with me. (I still have two of those bases to create with, actually.) I sent at least one of the coral hibiscus cards to the gift shop, and one went for a friend’s birthday. I used the “Celebrate Your Day” and “Sending Love” sentiments from the coordinating stamp set. I still have two coral and one masculine card to sentiment yet.

I didn’t used to be very fond of the kit idea in general because they’re usually too simple for my preferred style of details. But as I get busier, I have seen how useful they can be for when I want to send a handmade card but haven’t had extra time. Also, now that I’m constantly making cards for the gift shop, it’s been nice to fall back on ones that are faster and easier to make without taxing my design skills. I’m beginning to let go of the need to have everything perfectly perfect and just the way I like it. I simply don’t have enough time to keep up with all I’d like to do in this life. They need cards, so I must make them and not fuss around. Besides, some people really prefer the simpler, “to the point” cards rather than all the detail and fluff I like, so this way I hope to reach a bigger audience in interest. 🙂 For ones I send personally, I like to create cards with the recipient in mind. But for the shop, I don’t know who is buying them or who they are for. So the kits are beginning to work for me there. (And if any of the kits make it to the clearance rack, they’re even cheaper, which I also like.)

The kit coordinates with the Designer Tin of Cards stamp set, which I used for a few of the cards but not all. It was supposed to be used to make a filing system of cards on tabs, with the tin to hold everything, but I chose to use the sentiments rather than the tabs.

I’ve added in some of the finished cards as examples for you to see what the kit was like. Evidently I didn’t take all the pictures I should have. 🤦‍♀️ But if I find other pics, I’ll update the post with them.

The Designer Tin of Cards stamp set.
Sentiment from the “Birthday Wit” stamp set, with Pacific Point ink, gold sequins, and gold washi tape.
Sentiment from Blended Seasons stamp set, with Night of Navy ink.
Unbranded happy birthday die with blue-and-white card base, vellum, gold-edged tag, gold sequins, gold washi, white twine, and a blue flowered die-cut all from the kit. I stamped the flower on the envelope with the coordinating Floral Phrases stamp set in Night of Navy ink.
Blue flower die-cut and gold washi tape from the kit.
The only additions to the kit here were the Martha Stewart cake sticker and the gold-foil sentiment from a Spellbinders die. The kit even included paper clips!
Ink is Night of Navy. Stamp is from MSE.
In this gift-shop pic, one of the other blue-and-white ones can be seen with the sentiment “Best Wishes” in gold foil. The die is from a UK magazine. (Two other “kit cards” are also in the picture.)

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about how I created something, just leave me a comment. 🙂 And stay tuned for another blog post about a “love” card for a blog hop. 🙂

If you need any papercrafting supplies, I’d be happy to become your Stampin’ Up Demonstrator! My direct store link is in my blog sidebar.

May your day be a happy one!

Petal Pink Laser-Cut Paper (OCC 2019) and Upcycled Peach Rose Sympathy Card

While it seems like all I am making right now, when I have time to get into my craft room, is wedding, baby, bee, and lemon cards (for the gift shop and a custom order), I’ve been needing to do up another sympathy card as well. I rarely have a chance to make anything for my friends and family besides birthday and sympathy, to be honest, and those never stop coming. And although it was in the back of my mind to make a sympathy sooner rather than later, this card sort of fell together by accident.

The gorgeous sage green/peach/vanilla/white matted rose piece was in the last RAK I received from a crafty friend. I think it is a piece that came from a mass-produced card and was upcycled, because the leaves are even made of gold embossed foil. It really is beautiful. I had laid it aside because the mat was coming up and looked a tad larger on one side. One night I fixed it and absentmindedly put adhesive on the back before I realized I hadn’t prepared anything for it to go on…so I kept shuffling it around my desk for a few days, upside down so it wouldn’t stick to things. 🙂

I was actually searching for papers for another wedding card when I spotted my new pack of Petal Pink and white Beautifully Detailed Laser-Cut Specialty Paper” (148812, $14) that is in the new 2019 Occasions catalog (orderable as of January 3)–and it matched perfectly with the rose piece I had just moved…again. (The specialty paper pack includes eight sheets, four each of two design types. One type is a full 12×12 sheet that looks like filigree swirls, and the other type is full of elegant sections that can be cut into card fronts, borders, or accents.)

Once I confirmed that the pieces matched, I carefully cut away one of the card front pieces that looked the best when I placed the rose on top of them to test them (on top of the plastic bag holding the specialty paper, since I already had adhesive in my way). Then I found a piece of Thick Very Vanilla cardstock, cut it in half, and scored both, using one as my card base. And then I laid more adhesive on the back of the rose piece, just in case, before adhering it first to the laser-cut paper and then to the card base. The laser-cut paper I chose has a large opening in the middle, which the edges of the green mat just barely covered on the sides, so the adhesive went right through to the base.

I almost left the borders of the specialty paper free without gluing them, but I was afraid they would get creased since they’re so delicate, even though they’re a good weight. So I did take a bit of my Art Glitter fine-tip glue to tack down the corners in the thickest part and occasionally on the sides just to keep it from catching on something.

I kept the inside simple with a stamp from the retired Thoughts and Prayers stamp set from SU, and I used Grapefruit Grove ink because I thought the paper was the same color until I checked it tonight (oops!). I may go back and add one of the border pieces of the specialty paper on the bottom, but I haven’t decided how much room we will need for the handwritten message of the card.

Be sure and pick up a pack of this laser-cut specialty paper when the Occasions catalog goes live on January 3. There are so many options for creating with it, and it’s simply lovely. Here are other current items I used for this card:

I’m happy to help you order if you need a Stampin’ Up demonstrator. 🙂 You can use the code PNWVCZEU to order through my store (http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/default.aspx?dbwsdemoid=2202334) through January 5. (If it is after January 5, feel free to contact me for a new code!)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Timeless Tidings Project Kit Samples

Sharing four Christmas card designs today from the Timeless Tidings Project Kit – an easy, fun way to make twenty Christmas cards quickly!

Hello, and welcome to my blog for Amy’s Inkin’ Krew’s blog hop for Tuesday, November 13! The theme for the month is holiday or Christmas, so I finished up some of my cards in Stampin’ Up’s Timeless Tidings Project Kit to show you.

When I got the kit in last month, I took a couple of hours to put the various pieces of the four card designs together (twenty cards total) – other than the banners and circle sentiment pieces, which I needed more time to do later. The kit looked so fun and festive that I had to tear into it right away. 🙂 The premade card bases have lines on them to show where to put the certain pieces, which is all outlined in the instruction guide. (Just look for the lines first so you don’t accidentally glue the layers to the back side of the card base, as I did. It’s easy to do because the front and back look the same other than that little guiding line!)

I had not ordered the Timeless Tidings stamp set that is made to fit perfectly on the sentiment spots simply because I ordered the kit when it was low inventory so I would be sure I got it. I figured I would think about the stamp set later. Later came last week when I started looking through my stamp sets to see if I already owned sentiments that would fit the four differently-sized areas…since my SU wish list was still plenty large with only two months left to order holiday products. (In hindsight, it would have been easier and faster to simply order the matching sentiment set, so keep that in mind! 😂)

I did find a current stamp in my inventory that fit the kit, and it is “Peace and Joy” from the photopolymer set that comes in the Christmas Traditions Punch Box. (Several would have fit, as they are all of similar size, but I liked that one best for the tree card.) The next time I use it, I may try to color various parts of the stamp with Stampin’ Up markers to draw attention to the pretty pine branches on it.

The decorative tree piece and the poinsettia were already watercolored and included in the kit – I just had to glue them down. (Also, that Christmas Traditions Punch Box really is delightful. The stamps are beautiful, and I love that the punch coordinates with them and other stamps in our catalog. Be sure to give this one a second look!)

The “Merry Christmas” sentiment on the poinsettia card is from a retired Stampin’ Up set called Versatile Christmas. Both of the cards have been embellished with a gold foil border and the gold and green rhinestone gems that are included with the kit. On the poinsettia card, I put green stones on the edge of the sentiment and gold ones inside the flower center.

For the other two cards, I used sentiments from a Penny Black stamp set. These cards also have gold foil and gems for embellishment, and I popped up the piece under the largest circle with foam dots. The one says “Happy New Year” because it fit the large circle best, and truthfully I have sent New Year’s cards instead of Christmas cards at least twice. 🤷‍♀️ So I’m bound to use it at some point. 😂 I used Old Olive ink for all four cards.

Not buying the matching stamp set outright did end up taking more time than I would have liked. The kits are meant to be an easy way to get a bunch of Christmas cards done quickly, so scrounging in my stash sort of defeated the purpose. If you’re a budget buyer like I am and have unlimited time, sure, you can find ways to work around it and even create your own cards from various pieces rather than following everything exactly like I did (other than the bling)…but if you want a painless, faster way to get the job accomplished, it’s worth the extra money to get the set. I actually never thought I’d say that. 🙂 The sentiments are great ones to have on hand for later anyway, so I doubt you’ll regret the purchase.

The Timeless Tidings Project Kit is currently on backorder for a couple more weeks yet (it’s been popular!), but they have lots more coming soon if this is something you’re considering for a future purchase. If I can help you order it or other supplies, or if you just need a Stampin’ Up demonstrator, I’m happy to help! Feel free to contact me or go to my store website listed over in the right sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by and reading! Hopefully you’ll be finding a bit of time soon to make some easy Christmas cards, if that’s your thing. I have quite a few outsides finished (not counting the twenty in this kit!), but I still need sentiments on the inside. And as I didn’t get mine finished in time to send last year, I’ve determined that this year will be different! The weeks to Christmas are already counting down, though. I don’t know how it’s already mid-November. May your holidays (and your Christmas) be merry and peaceful and wonderful this year. ❤️

To continue “hopping” along with our group, just click the “Next” button to view Karen Ksenzakovic’s offering (or click this link), or go to the “Previous” button (or this link) to view Linda Richenberg’s project. For your convenience, the list of all our participants are listed in order below. Merry early Christmas, everyone!

Shirley Gentry

Karen Finkle

Linda Richenberg

Connie Troyer (you are here!)

Karen Ksenzkovic

Aurora Lopez

Mary Deatherage

Sue Prather

Amy Koenders

Superhero Batman Card for a Super Birthday

Thanks for the click! I feel like the proverbial broken record these days: “I’ve been on book deadline, so I haven’t had a lot of time in the craft room.” And when I’ve been there, I’ve had to do simple cards, which isn’t my true style. It’s been like this for months. Not really enough time to post either, but I try to keep up when I have to. Therefore, my post about Batman will be as short as I can make it. (There’s about another week until I think I can finally create for days on end again, and I can’t wait!)

Despite book deadlines and ASAP work and regular old “life” stuff, our family has birthdays in the latter half of the year, so I find myself away from home more often and scrambling for time beforehand to make birthday cards. I heard that the nephew wanted a superhero party this time around, and even though my gifts didn’t match that, I made sure my card would. I actually bought the “Let the Good Times Roll” roller coaster stamp and dies set months ago for his card. I guess I’ll make that another year. 🙂

I was randomly browsing Pinterest when I was killing time away from home one day, and I stumbled upon a seemingly easy Batman card. It looked simple enough to emulate (or CASE: Copy and Share Everything or Copy and Selectively Edit), which was perfect for my lack of time, but of course I had to put my own style to it too. I knew I had the oval punch and alphabet set she used, so using hers as a guide was perfect. Many, many thanks to the designer for bailing me out when I needed a quick card! You can see the original here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/250372060519376773/.

As cute as I thought the original card was, I missed the light in the sky – you know, the one that always shows up as a beam whenever they cast the bat sign into the air from the spotlight. So I had to add that to my card, leading to my little bat. (I didn’t have room around the bat to punch the holes like the original designer did.)

To create the light beam, I first used Wink of Stella White and then layered another coat over most of it with either Wink of Stella Clear or Gold. The Wink of Stella line (Clear especially) is a favorite product in my craft room. I love that little bit of shimmer without the mess, and it dries quickly. I kept layering the colors, trying to keep my freehanded lines straight and also get both colors into the beam without one overpowering the other.

Wink of Stella Clear. Photo from StampinUp.com

The oval punch used was Stampin’ Up’s Extra-Large Oval Punch and I just used a scrap of yellow with it. Once I had it punched, I laid it onto my card and marked with a pencil the places the beam of light should theoretically end. I’ve never been very good at drawing 3D things, but I thought this turned out all right.

I do not (yet) own the new Spooky Bats Punch from Stampin’ Up and I’m not a huge Halloween person, so my choices for bats in the oval were limited. I’ve hand-drawn them before when I needed one, but I chose to fussy-cut one out of my paper share of current DSP for this card. It comes from the Toil and Trouble line in the current Holiday catalog. I looked for one that seemed most like the bat sign we know and love and cut it out using my beloved CutterBee microscissors.

Toil and Trouble Designer Series Paper. Photo from StampinUp.com.

Although the original poster used Stampin’ Up’s Labeler Alphabet (and I had intended to as well), for the sake of time, I opted for my SMASH Label Maker, which would save a lot of time of inking and trying to get the letters straight and cutting out the words before gluing them. There wasn’t much in the way of instructions on the packaging, so I still hold my breath and count when I operate it, and I’m still not entirely sure of the best way to keep the words fastened once I have them imprinted, but I keep working with it and learning.

For “To a super nephew,” I added extra spaces between the words and cut apart the words evenly when I was done before haphazardly affixing them first with Scor-Tape (which has mostly worked before). Before I was finished, I went back and reglued them with Tombow Multi, though, and that seemed to keep them where I wanted them, since the edges still wanted to curl up a little with the Scor-Tape.

Labeler Alphabet. Photo at StampinUp.com.

I don’t seem to have a picture of the inside. Maybe I forgot to take one. I thought I used a “Happy Birthday” stamp of some kind since I didn’t say that on the front. Regardless, that’s all there is for this card and blog post! Back to my regularly scheduled edit… Thanks for stopping by!

If you’re in need of craft supplies from Stampin’ Up, I’d love to be your demonstrator! You can shop with me at https://www.stampinup.com/ecweb/default.aspx or find me on Facebook at Constantly Creating / The Little Whatnot Shop. The current Annual and Holiday catalogs have some amazing products this year, and we’ll soon be making cards using the November-only special called the Snowflake Showcase! I recently got some of the flocked “White Velvet Paper,” and it is gorgeous! You don’t want to miss this special!

Berry-and-Blue Birthday 3D Decoupage Quilt Card

A quick decoupage birthday card I created before bedtime.

Last night I attempted to go to bed a little earlier, but I still had some time to kill before actually turning in (the brain was still restless, looking for something to amuse itself with).

I had wandered into the craft room for something else and ended up stumbling upon this Log Cabin quilt paper remnant on the desk while putting some things away. And oddly enough, there was matching SU designer series paper and cardstock right beside it in a heap intended for quilt cards for the local gift shop. Not for the particular card they ended up creating, but at least they’re being used, right?

I’ve also started keeping a new organizational system for pieces I can grab and adhere to cards quickly, trying to speed up my creative process. So before I stacked any layers together, I turned to my “Card Toppers to Use” drawer and this 3D flowered circle was the first one I pulled out. And it even mostly matches. 🙂 Just had to decide how to utilize the card front’s space.

This was the arrangement that seemed most pleasing to me – and I even ended up using a very retired color of SU cardstock for the base and middle layer as a plus! (No idea what color it is…it was an In-Color back 10-15 years ago! I haven’t researched it.)

The 3D pieces are some of my favorite ones to make. It’s so relaxing to sit there and fiddle while talking or listening to something else. And they’re pretty impressive up close.

I had a pack of gold Dazzles sentiments on my desk in the heap as well, so I cut apart a “Happy Birthday” one to make it fit better, and it went on easily. I refrained from adding any Wink of Stella or bling bits, as the card front is busy enough already.

The inside of the card is simply a scrap of border paper from a UK magazine (love those!) and a sentiment from a Studio 112 clear stamp set on top of a remnant of white. I used Stampin’ Up’s Sweet Sugarplum ink for the saying.

This card feels supremely satisfying to me. It didn’t take me long at all to create it from start to finish – maybe 20-30 minutes? – and even though I was just throwing bits of random things together, it turned out to be something pretty. I think that method is actually my favorite way of creating and also turns out my most creative works, making something out of nothing missing any semblance of sense at the start. 🙂

I’m not sure who is going to end up with this card, so it’s currently for sale if someone wants it. It may end up at the gift shop otherwise, if they like it enough. 🙂

Lessons in Stampin’ Up’s Embossing Paste

Well, my first foray into using Stampin’ Up’s Embossing Paste was certainly interesting. It’s been sitting on my desk patiently waiting for me to get to it. I finally got the paint palette and palette knives, and I already had ink refills to tint it with, should the mood strike. This won’t be too hard, right? I thought. Hmm.

Tonight the mood struck, when I was permitting myself a little dabble time before attempting to go to bed at a reasonable hour (since I’m on book deadline again). I had a salt-and-pepper love-themed notecard I wanted to add some hearts to as a border, and I thought the thick embossing paste would show up better rather than ink of the same color on a stamp I was waffling on.

Well. Apparently I have to figure out how not to let it bleed underneath the stencil. That seems to be my main problem. I had washi-taped down the edges of the first stencil (and card), which was created from an edge punch, and even kept my hands on all of it as secondary security, but still I erred. The heart borders weren’t terrible, though I don’t like the smudges at the bottom. I think I went over them three times. And once the paper is smudged with the color, it’s definitely hard to remove it.

I forgot to mention that I had put a little bit (probably too much) with my palette knife into my paint palette and added a drop – and then two drops – of Sweet Sugarplum ink refill (SU, current product, In-Color). I’m going to guess that one drop is enough. I was trying to match the color of the SU heart enamel shapes because I already had one on the card. Two drops definitely made it darker. So then I thought maybe I should add more paste to spread out the color more and make it the lighter shade I was going for. That meant there was a whole lot of embossing paste in my palette tray, more than six hearts would require. And mixing all that with my metal paint palette was difficult and sounded like scratches on a chalkboard. Perhaps a foam board or toothpick next time.

I started looking for other stencils I could use while I had all this goop I didn’t want to waste. I found a DCWV 6×6 stencil (EM-033-00012) that had both “LOVE” and “Be You” on it, and since this is the season for Valentine’s Day cards, I thought they’d go nicely with my current projects. I pulled two heart stencils too. Ambitious, apparently. 😉 And no, my paste didn’t stretch that far. 🙂

But in doing the “Be You” stencils on cardstock and then on DSP, I had a lot more problems with runs beneath the stencil. Granted, things were starting to dry while I searched for more stencils to use up the excess I’d made, but I thought I had time. Maybe I should have added a drop of water to keep it thin? No idea. Will have to research that.

I did find that once the paste was partially dry, I could take a tool and scrape off the excess around the letters…and the piece of black background/polka-dotted paper hid that a little better than the grey cardstock. Still not perfect, though. But manageable. At this point I’m thinking of taking my Cutterbee scissors and fussy-cutting around the gray cardstock example. Seems like it’s drying pretty quickly. I can’t scrape off anything around the hearts anymore. It would let me pat the “Be You” letters back into place by hand when I was trimming those with my Creative Memories sticker placement tool (use whatever you’ve got, right?).

Then I tried to wash off my tools. I think I should have done that immediately. I stood at the sink scraping off the stencil (which had been used twice then) with my fingernail, under running water and even soaking it in the sink. I couldn’t get it all off, and I bent a bit of my stencil as well.

So, I’m looking for tips on just what to do or not do with stencils and embossing paste. I’ve figured out that a little ink goes a long way and the paste dries fairly quickly, and obviously I need to clean the stencil earlier – but how do I get it to stop the bleeding? Thinner, repeated layers? I like height. 😦 I couldn’t see how to washi the close parts down either. If you have advice, I’m all eyes. Thanks in advance. It has to get better than this! It leaves such a cool 3D look when it’s actually all smooth.

I’ve wondered, too, whether the embossing paste (tinted or not) would work in silicone molds like SU’s retired pressed clay molds or the current Mod Podge molds sold in various locations. Any clue?

Pics attached so you can see my mess. 🙂 And thanks for the help! I feel like such a newbie. 🙂

Connie